12 Dec 2012

ARU backs Deans for another year

5:54 am on 12 December 2012

The Wallabies' rugby coach Robbie Deans has been told 2013 will be a make-or-break year for him.

The Australian Rugby Union chairman Michael Hawker has made a passionate defence of the Wallabies' season ahead, even though Deans and his team are under pressure following a season in which they dropped from second to third in the world rankings and scored only 15 tries in 15 games.

Leading players including Will Genia, Quade Cooper, James O'Connor and Kurtley Beale all missed significant portions of 2012, as did skipper James Horwill and world-class flanker David Pocock, and 55 players turned out for the Wallabies during the year.

2013 is a big year for Australia with the three-Test British and Irish Lions' tour the biggest indicator of success in the coming 12 months, the final year of Deans' contract.